Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: California's Central Coast
Are there other trainers at the facility you can work with? Or can you be bold enough to say to the trainer, I am not going to "pop" my dog that hard?
We have used a trainer that uses the prong for corrections. It is very effective, but when it gets to the point where the dog is yelping, I've heard dog owners outside of class question this method and not want to come back. At training I am criticized for being too easy with a correction, then the trainer would show me a firmer correction in front of the class, also stating the "pop" is not hurting my dog - she didn't cry out. So it seemed that yelping/crying out was the sign your correction was too aggressive.
If you like everything else about the class, the facilities, the activities, etc, then you might continue to go and just explain that you are not going to allow your dog to be handled that way. If you trainer is like mine - money motivated - they might let you continue with class if you want to keep paying for lessons. On your own time, you can start to use more positive methods of training. We had used prong then graduated to a reward/treat based training. (Our dog was not into treat training when she was younger).